Dating from the nineteenth century, this animated streetscape is signed Etienne Berne-Bellecour (1838-1910), a French painter and engraver. The signature is rather discreet on the bottom right. Oil on canvas with repairs (visible from the back). It is difficult to know exactly what is happening in the scene. The streets are filled with people walking, merchants, and soldiers. There is even a dog marking his territory on the bridge. There are also two row boats in the canal. Considering this - perhaps it is during wartime, with the military men relaxed, patrolling the area or perhaps hassling the local women.
See attached photocopy from the Benezit Art Dictionary.
Extract from Wikipedia - translated from French:
Étienne Berne-Bellecour or Étienne Prosper Berne-Bellecour, born on July 29, 1838 in Boulogne-sur-Mer and died on November 29, 1910 in Paris, is a French photographer, painter, engraver and illustrator.
Étienne Prosper Berne ( birth name in the act ) is the son of Louise Éléonore Jouard and Étienne Berne, a dramatic artist.
He entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1856, where he was a pupil of Émile Signol, François-Édouard Picot and Félix-Joseph Barrias. He competed, without success, for the Prix de Rome in 1859. He collaborated with illustrated newspapers, then turned, in the years 1864 to 1870, to photography by associating with Michel Berthaud, under the sign "Helios", without giving up painting. He married Jeanne Victorine Alice Vibert, daughter of Théodore Vibert and sister of the painter and playwright Jean-Georges Vibert, the December 15, 1864 in Paris. The couple has nine children: Félix, Juliette (mother of Jean Debucourt ), Georges, Lucienne, Étienne, Jean-Jacques, Rosine (mother of Alice Boutaric who will marry Émile Durin ), Marie-Paule and Louis.
He enlisted during the 1870 war in the Free Corps of Tirailleurs de la Seine and was decorated with the Military Medal. A companion of Édouard Detaille and Alphonse de Neuville, he painted numerous battle paintings during the conflict, the most famous of which remain Les Tirailleurs de la Seine au combat de Malmaison (1874), Le Prisonnier and Défense d'un pont. He composed with Jean-Georges Vibert an entertainment, The Mechanical Tribune, course of parliamentary eloquence which will be played by Jules Brasseur at the Palais-Royal theater in 1872. One of his sons, Jean-Jacques Berne-Bellecour (1874-1939), was also a military painter. We can associate painters such as Eugène Berthelon (1829–1914) and Marie-Désiré Bourgoin (1839-1912) with his school. Berne-Bellecour bought in 1867 the castle of Égreville, then in a state of ruin. He restored it and settled there at the end of his life. In 1899, he sold this property to his friend Jules Massenet.
He dies on November 29, 1910at his home at 24 rue Ampère, in the 17th arrondissement of Paris.
Condition and wear consistent with age and use.
Approx. overall 30¾" high x 39½" x 5" deep.
Approx. overall 78cm high x 100cm x 13cm deep.